Friday, October 31, 2008

T or T

Well, it's 8:13 PM, and we've had our 1 trick or treater.
I can still remember our first Halloween in this house. We had moved from the southern part of the state the day before and I told the kids it just wasn't going to work out this year, but there would always be next time. Their Papa had another idea, I discovered. He had brainstormed a couple of easy costume ideas with them and said he would take them around the new area to trick or treat. I was reluctant to help out with the plan. I thought they'd spend the evening handing out candy - meeting the kids in their new neighborhood.
I still remember how excited they were about the houses they went to, with the music and other scary stuff. Their papa did the right thing. Thank goodness boring mom was not in control.
Liseanne was a bum (if I remember correctly) and Fran was a clown (they're still trying to remember who was what). I was the one who spent the night answering the continuously ringing doorbell. I still remember the boy who remarked, "you're not Mrs. ****". "No, I'm not. We just moved in."
There were only a few more years of having several trick or treaters. (at least it seems that way now) Now for the past 3 years, it's Kevin who rings our bell and that's it.
There was that one strange year when our doorbell rang around 11 PM (yes, we were still up). It was a couple of teens who were associated with teens in our neighborhood. They saw our porchlight on and decided we were still open. That's when it doesn't pay to have a porchlight that goes on at dusk and stays on until daylight.

Rest in peace, Studs Terkel

What an American icon you are!
You were always entertaining and informative.
I'll miss seeing and hearing you periodically on TV and NPR.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tomorrow will I be a Halloweenie?

As in . . . coming undone when they're so overcome with excitement they forget how to listen.
I began the losing-my-voice faze of this bug. Last night it was a nasty headache and not being able to keep my eyes open. I slept from 7:30-11 on the couch and then continued sleeping once I made it to bed. Thank goodness we've practiced our it's-time-to-quiet-down signal in computers over the past couple of weeks. My squeaky voice may prove to be a challenge.
Have I used up my quota of hyphens yet?? ;>
I understand I will henceforth be known as, "that woman". Howlingly good (or not) story. I may share if asked or I may not.


Lise accepted a job offer from the state yesterday. She's not thrilled (she starts on the I'll-never-see-anyone swing shift) and I don't blame her, but I do believe what they told her about how often they hire out of this data processing pool for jobs that are a step up and out. She'll continue her job search, of course.
Today is our pumpkin day. The short people take their small pumpkin looking gourds, weigh, measure, draw and compare at different stations. The adults try to manage the activity level and make sure everyone is on task.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I assisted Fran in the kitchen while she prepared dinner this evening. After my verbal "display" last night, I think I've frightened everyone in the house into laying low. What kind of dog pack are we, for crying out loud?!
The short people were on the loud side yet productive during project time today. I do love them so. Not in the cheek pinching way, but in the encouraging, adoring, auntie way.
Dinner smells delicious.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Gee, thanks Connie!! ;>
After Connie's compliment last Friday, I began to think I actually do teach the short people some higher level science terms. And then today I read my favorite leaf book to them with the scientific words and definitions at the end with my all time favorite tree (Ginkgo) featured . . .
they weren't all being the best listeners.
Sitting here thinking back on the day, perhaps it wasn't that bad.
Maybe my expectations were pushed beyond the KG limit due to the compliment.
They did love the leaf rubbings.
I came home to a suds locked washing machine after a long day at work and two errands across town. I think it was the second suds lock since August. I finally made a mark with an permanent marker indicating how much soap is needed for a front loader washer. I guess a verbal approach isn't always the preferred approach.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Out of the house

Getting out of the house is important, am I right? The longer one spends in the house, the more difficult it is to to make that first step to get yourself out and about. It doesn't even have to cost much money. Yes, there's the gas, but parking is free (as long as you follow the rules). Salem has several great parks to walk around and through. Plus downtown offers a lot of territory to browse and ponder. Really I think it comes down to sanity, doesn't it? And if you can't talk anyone into joining you, there's always sitting over a cup of coffee at the book store or internet cafe.

I noticed that the school district is offering the NCLB classes during the school day in November. Kim and I keep pondering whether it would be worth our time to take the classes and the test. I do know one thing though - I would never attempt the test without studying, with or without the classes. Even though I learned all the bits and pieces the test covers, it's been awhile. Studying only makes sense - unless one WANTS to fail.

My principal gave me the go ahead on the blood drive. Now where to start? I should probably check with Donna to find out which dates are not available.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Okay Norm, did you really do the leaves yesterday? Doesn't look like they were even touched. I wonder if anyone has invented a device to strap around the trunk of a tree that vibrates enough to hasten the fall of the leaves? Seems like a good idea to me.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


It's tough to put on lotion several times a day when you're wearing jeans and long underwear. So the tat wasn't cared for as well on pumpkin patch day. I was much better yesterday and ended up having the colorful dead skin peel off near the end of the day. Gross and yet . . . interesting. Yup, always a kindergartner at the core.
The color of the heart has lightened up considerably. Now I wonder what it will look like in a year.
Norm's already outside preparing to tackle the leaves. He's probably thrilled it's not raining.
Fran's J drove up last night. He'll get to be here for her MRI this afternoon.
Yup, on a Saturday.
I wonder when we should plan on leaving to drive north?

Friday, October 24, 2008


We had a great time at the Pumpkin Patch. :>)
I don't understand, I was so wiped last night. Now why would that be??
I took more video and then last night I began to put together a blog just for displaying KG videos. Of course only this morning do I think to ask permission . . .

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Off to the Pumpkin Patch

Okay, so field trips aren't my favorite activity. It's not that I dread them, but usually one parent we've assigned a group to fails to show up and destinations overbook. Both of which raise the stress level for those in charge. I do love it when I have the opportunity to take photos. This particular pumpkin patch has a great spot for individual snapshots and the sun will be out.
Okay, so maybe there are things to look forward to. :>)
Izzy and Zuzu have been enjoying each other this morning. I'm surprised Izzy didn't curl back up next to Fran and continue her puppy sleep. Their favorite game is Zuzu on the chair taunting and batting at Izzy, while Izzy paws back.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wormy Day 2008

I like doing worm science with the worm box. Very impressive to pull the damp newspaper aside and show the kindergartners all the worms wiggling in the soil along with the occasional bit of compost-able scraps from the kitchen. They even enjoyed the roly poly bugs that lived in the box. I saved a tray full of the "worm processed" soil to show them. They were horrified after I informed them it was worm poop. After they held the worms, we washed our hands and ate gummy worms. I told them they could go home tonight and tell their parents they held worms and then ate one.

Lisa just finished prepping the Costco pizza for dinner. We wore Fran out with too many trips today. What a dope I am! They went to Bauman's and EZ Orchards while I was at work and then Lise and I took her to PetCo and Costco after I came home. Sorry Fran!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Walking the dog in the rain

I know I should.
And I probably will eventually.
I doubt if I will today and it's not even raining hard.
It's only drizzled off and on.
Poor Izzy!
To be dependent on such an unambitious human!
I ordered a couple of pair of pants from STPost that a customer claimed, "my most comfortable pants EVER!!" Kinda reminded me of the design of a paper sack - with a cinch belt on top. They probably are very comfortable, but I'd have to wear a baggy sweatshirt to complete the look and that's just not me.
I had to giggle over the PM parent who rushed up to me with a big grin this afternoon, "did you just get a tattoo??" Must be something people who have tattoos notice?
What's for dinner? Either I or Fran will need to pull a rabbit out of our hats. Can't take too long, I need to drag a victim to PetCo and Costco to pick up a few things tonight.

Sister Quote

"Maverick: Someone who gets a tattoo on their leg when they turn 50."
But I don't want to be a Maverick!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Yesterday, while we waited for the artist to take Lisa's design, transfer it to parchment paper and copy the lettering from their font book, a young woman and her child came in with a colorful character named Critter. According to the parlor owner, Critter has quite the history. He used to be a bonafide cowboy in Eastern Oregon, but now he's a mechanic. The child looked to be around 6, 7 or 8. Very hard to tell, due to her birth defect. Her legs (if she has any) may have been 8 inches long. Her mother asked which one of us was getting a tattoo and if it was the first one. Then she told me it doesn't hurt. I responded that that's what people tell you when you're about to do something that DOES hurt. Then she began to elaborate about what the needles feel like.
After the first 5 minutes, I began to wonder why I didn't choose to have my nose pierced. That would've only hurt for a brief moment. :>. It felt pretty much like you'd think it would when someone repeatedly jabs a group of needles into your body - painful. I could deal with the pain, but I was bothered that I couldn't control the twitching of my leg - or the result of the twitching (jerk, jerk). I found that if I pressed my calf firmly into the chair that it helped.
It probably took an hour or so to complete. I'm not looking forward to the peeling stage. That won't look attractive!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Donate Life

What makes this tattoo even more special is the story the artist shared with me. 11 - 12 years ago, her diabetic father became so ill he qualified for an organ transplant. After waiting and having to under go dialysis, he was notified that both a pancreas and a kidney were available. When he came home, he was no longer a diabetic. Amazing!! And all these years later, he's still alive to see his grandchildren grow.

Kids! What they cause their parents to do!

"Mom, do you want to go to the bead shop with me?", Liseanne asked.
"Sure, why don't you see if Fran wants to go, too."
And then suddenly we were at a tattoo parlor and a young woman named Cassidy was firing needles into the calf of my right leg.
I'll see if I can post a pic when the swelling goes down.

Walking the dogs while Lisa shoots

Friendship/birthday breakfast

The cook at the cash register asked if Shirley and I were all caught up. :>) Is it that obvious that's what our breakfasts are about? Could it be because we sit and chatter for 2 1/2 hours? A morning with Shirley charges my batt-trees and fills my heart.
Our neighbor is up blowing leaves and debris off his roof and N and J are out putting up a wire fence to keep Izzy out of mischief. It'll be good to be able to let her out without supervision.
Liseanne and I took both dogs up to the park for a nice autumn walk. I couldn't find my phone after returning and was sure it had fell out one of the times I pulled out my camera to take leaf pictures. Turns out it was in Shirley's car the whole time. What a relief!
Worm box!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

GreyBettyOffice Thursdays

Most of the time I don't believe a full moon has anything to do with behavior and then we have a week with the short people (like this one) that makes me a believer. They've been enjoying each other to the max, while turning a deaf ear to the grown ups. Ah to be a speed bump in the eyes of a child! Not a good feeling! I hope library and computer isn't a trial today.
It's good news when I stay awake through all 3 of my favorite shows on Thursday evening. :>) It helps when they're all entertaining. Grey's started out the season with a disappointing script - made me wonder if this would be their last season. The past two episodes have shown much improvement. The Office was hilarious. Feels so good to laugh out loud.
Onward to Friday!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Love My Girls - oh yes I do!

After Fran's PT appointment this afternoon, Liseanne and I wheeled her around on many errands. Geez, just get close to Lancaster and the number of errands on the list seems to grow.
L needed to return a pair of jeans to a store at the downtown mall. We elevatored downstairs to see if she could find a replacement and realized they had given us $14 more than we had coming. Oh! They refunded her for the more expensive/wrong pair of jeans! The clerk was happy that we returned and yet it was such a hassle for him to repair the damage it almost didn't seem worth it. Almost. There's no way we would've done things differently.
I know Fran is probably exhausted, but I sure enjoyed spending that time with both of them. Such sweet, big hearted individuals!
We're browsing through the many leftovers for dinner. That's usually what we do for Thursday (band rehearsal night) dinner. Guess we'll solve that when we get to it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weighing in - but not on the scale . . .

N and I made a Costco run this evening. One of those visits that make me glad we're executive members. The check should be a nice size this January. :>/
Today the short people and I made pine cone bird feeders in science. I love reading Wild Birds by Joanne Ryder to them. Especially the part where the author's prose describes a little girl standing, "as still as an icicle, as still as a frozen tree", by her busy bird feeder. Then a small bird lands on her outstretched hands and she says she can feel it's heartbeat through her mittens. :>) Due to a couple of students having peanut allergies, Kim bought soynut butter instead of peanut butter for the feeders. Not the most alluring smell in the world. Quite a few of the more vocal ones were plugging their noses. At least they didn't lick their fingers the way they do when we use peanut butter.
Five appointments for Fran this week. We won't know what to do with none for the following week.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lunch out :>)

I spent about 2 hours at the DMV to renew my license this afternoon. My fault - mostly. I thought I had all the required documents, but once I was up at the counter discovered I had Fran's birth certificate. Ugh!! Dummy! When I went back, I thought I was missing proof of my SSN, too. Thank goodness we found it on the tax document I brought. So frustrating that even people who are renewing have to go through the same hoops. :>P
Okay, done venting.
Just noticed N cursing in the backyard (lip reading) and saw that Nixon had dumped the birdseed with his leash while Norm was trying to multi-task. Oops!
I don't know if I really learned that much at the DIBELS training today. She kept skipping things and saying how "but that will be different for us, since we're doing it another way". Where are those in-services where you don't feel like you've completely wasted your time??
Lisa's making dinner. Sweet girl!
Fran, her J and Izzy come home in the wee hours.

In-service Friday

I was all signed up to go to a reading in-service at Parrish MS, but then decided I'd better join the teachers for the DIBELS session. Kim and I have already missed 3 morning sessions. We're not sure if this is a bad idea or not.
Zuzu and Wendy have been trying to establish a relationship the past couple of weeks. I think Zuzu would prefer to keep things the way they were - Wendy in her own room. Wendy wants to meet and play, but Zuzu's been staying aloof. We'll watch to see if the cats can change (like old dog) while we should probably be the ones trying to improve. ;>)
Fran and Izzy return this weekend. I don't know how it's going to work, since Jon has several events to attend in Corvallis. We'll keep that cell phone on. I noticed that Fran has 4 appointments next week, but nothing for the two weeks after that. Maybe another opportunity to stay in Ashland?
I hope to go through my closet, do laundry and make a trip to the Goodwill this weekend. That's all I ask.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fun with the puppy

Who knew, a squeaker under a bum could provide such entertainment for a human being and two dogs. :>) I do like how Nixon rubs his eyes in disbelief.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Caution: Pitted olives may have bits of pits

Well, we found out Izzy's lost tooth was a baby tooth. I thought it probably was, but it's good we know for sure. Fran also discovered there may be a need for more vaccinations if Izzy is a part-time resident of southern Oregon.
Geez, 3 appointments for me in 2 days. That's unusual. I'm glad it's done. I wish I'd had the energy and time left to head to the parent meeting tonight. I wanted to share with them about my desire to have a blood drive at school in memory of Gwen. I also wanted to see if they had any thoughts about the where, when and how to find out how many may be interested.

Cherry Redd Video

We were at the store during the shoot.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Where to start first??

I was so glad to see the jogathon shirts had arrived this afternoon! I don't know if Jane and Holly will end up wearing them or not, but at least I was able to hold up my end of the bargain with Liseanne's help.
Even though we all (N,K,L,J,S,J & G) worked hard all day on Saturday, it still felt like we had a weekend. We spent the first part of Sunday unpacking the remaining boxes, except for the ones that Fran laid claim to. "Save the easy ones for me, please!" And then we drove downtown to dink around the shops and eat lunch. We made it home around 10. Not bad.
When I went in to get my haircut after work today I found out that Karyn had been in Ashland with her son to see a play. Hilarious! We were probably outside Bowmer Theatre the same time their play let out, too. I can't believe we missed each other.
I wrote up a "review" from our dining out this weekend, but I decided to ask Salem Man first. People didn't seem too happy when I wrote about the Crow Bar in Cowvallis. If he says no, I'll post it here.